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Jud 15:1, 2. SAMSON IS DENIED HIS WIFE.
1. in the time of wheat harvest--that is, about the end of our April,
or the beginning of our May. The shocks of grain were then gathered
into heaps, and lying on the field or on the threshing-floors. It was
the dry season, dry far beyond our experience, and the grain in a most
2. her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her--This allegation was a mere sham, a flimsy pretext to excuse his refusal of admittance. The proposal he made of a marriage with her younger sister was but an insult to Samson, and one which it was unlawful for an Israelite to accept (Le 18:18).
Jud 15:3-8. HE BURNS THE PHILISTINES' CORN.
4, 5. went and caught three hundred foxes--rather, "jackals"; an
animal between a wolf and a fox, which, unlike our fox, a solitary
creature, prowls in large packs or herds and abounds in the mountains
of Palestine. The collection of so great a number would require both
time and assistance.
6. Who hath done this--The author of this outrage, and the cause that provoked such an extraordinary retaliation, soon became known; and the sufferers, enraged by the destruction of their crops, rushing with tumultuous fury to the house of Samson's wife, "burnt her and her father with fire." This was a remarkable retribution. To avoid this menace, she had betrayed her husband; and by that unprincipled conduct, eventually exposed herself to the horrid doom which, at the sacrifice of conjugal fidelity, she had sought to escape [Jud 14:15].
7. Samson said . . ., Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you--By that act the husbandmen had been the instruments in avenging his private and personal wrongs. But as a judge, divinely appointed to deliver Israel, his work of retribution was not yet accomplished.
8. smote them hip and thigh--a proverbial expression for a merciless
Jud 15:9-13. HE IS BOUND BY THE MEN OF JUDAH, AND DELIVERED TO THE PHILISTINES.
9-17. Then the Philistines went up--to the high land of Judah.
16. With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men--The inadequacy of the weapon plainly shows this to have been a miraculous feat, "a case of supernatural strength," just as the gift of prophecy is a case of supernatural knowledge [CHALMERS].
19. a hollow place . . . in the jaw--"in Lehi"--taking the word as a
proper noun, marking the place.